HONOLULU -- All University of Hawaii employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the spring 2022 semester.
The university announced the new policy in a press release on Monday. It goes into effect on Jan. 3, 2022, and applies to all employees, including those working remotely. Approved medical or religious exemptions will be accepted.
The school previously announced that students must have had their final vaccine dose before they are eligible to enroll in in-person classes for the spring 2022 semester. Spring registration begins in early November.
The new UH employee policy reads, in part, “a fully vaccinated campus community enables the best opportunity for a healthy return to high-quality face-to-face teaching, learning and research.”
The new policy replaces the old vaccination and testing policy the school adopted in August 2021. According to officials, any employee who does not comply “will be subject to progressive discipline” which could include being terminated.
“The policy is based on the latest federal and state guidance and made in consultation with the UH President COVID-19 Team and the UH Health and Well-Being working group, made up of UH medical and public health experts,” according to an email sent to employees from the UH Office of Human Resources.
The email stated that the three unions representing UH employees were consulted prior to the policy being made official.
Any employee who has received an approved exemption will still be required to provide a negative PCR COVID test weekly or a negative antigen test every three days, school officials said.